Fostering Productivity and Growth Within Your Troubled Teen

Parenting teens presents a number of problems you never saw coming when they were just babbling babies. The teen years often leave us thinking about our own parent’s and the times we made life difficult for them during our adolescent years.  Some teens are especially hard to parent when they are battling with emotional, learning, and social disorders. When left uncared for, these disabilities can result in troubling and consistently defiant behavior. Before you reach this point with your teen, and especially if you have already come to this point, take notes: we’ve broken it down into 4 basic ways that you can foster a better mental state for your teen.


  1. Present outlets for creativity. Find opportunities to involve your teen in the arts: family outings to local galleries, plays, musical performances, and dance. Watch as others perform, or even better, do these activities yourself. Creativity and learning go hand in hand and it’s hard to do one without the other. As your teen has more opportunities for this kind of growth, they’ll be able to discover talents and interests that will aid in building their self esteem and learning abilities.
  2. Limit screen time and provide real-life time. Completely avoiding social networks, games, and everything else that comes with smartphones, tablets, and computers is an unrealistic expectation. But as parents, we can do our part to set a responsible example for how and when these tools should be used. Along with providing this standard, we can balance the use of electronics with some time proven outdoor recreational therapy. Limiting screen time and increasing physical activity is proven to reduce stress and provide an atmosphere to develop a healthy mindset and stronger immune system. Take part in regular exercise and/or organized sports. This will benefit your health physically and mentally. It helps teens to develop self confidence, important social skills, and offers  great mental stimulation. Give that brain a workout in other ways like playing word games, putting together puzzles, and completing homework together.
  3. Fuel their bodies with good nutrition. Many parents have noticed a difference in their children’s behavior as they intentionally avoid excessive amounts of desserts, sugars, processed foods, and bad fats. This takes a bit of work and a little trial and error, but research the benefits of a healthy diet and implement your findings at home. You’ll notice a difference in your teens ability to pay attention, in their energy levels, and even in their mood. Be sure to use reputable sources as there are lots of different opinions out there. But the best resources you’ll have are the results you see in your own home. Keep a record of the foods you’re eating and the emotional and mental states of your family members. Watch for patterns and you’ll know if changing your family’s diet is worth the effort.
  4. Cultivate a genuine connection with your child. By really connecting with your teen, you can create at atmosphere that invites honest conversations. By getting to know your teen on a friendly level, you’ll know how to reach them on a parenting level. This takes time and dedication, so don’t give up if at first your attempts seem to be in vain. Keep presenting a desire to love and know your child and you’ll see their walls start to come down.

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